Response to Round 7, Prompt 3


I believe that we are deeply connected with the Earth, but we have pushed this out through civilization and social constructs. Religion is much too broad to simply be “the biggest factor.” Before one could adequately answer that question, one would have to spend hours defining what religion is to oneself. I think education is a very significant tool that we can use to fight climate change. Since Environmental Science has been recognized as a science and taught in schools, more people have become aware that there is a problem. Without education, most people probably would not know that the environment is in danger, and those who know would not understand the implications (e.g. that humans are causing it and that we must take action to stop the degradation). Thus, education is definitely key when it comes to combating environmental degradation, but there are other factors that need to be considered as well. For example, in class we talked about how people who are simply trying to put shoes on their feet probably would not necessarily care if the environment is in danger. 

I believe that not only do we turn our connection to the Earth off, but some people have been conditioned to forget it entirely. Others find ways to stay in touch with it through meditation, religion, etc. It is very easy to forget our deep roots because we alienate ourselves so much from the rest of the world. As Leopold suggests, perhaps we should live as plain citizens of nature rather than its conquerors. Then maybe we will rediscover that ancient connectedness to the Earth that will never fully disappear.


2 responses »

  1. I agree with you. There is definitely a lot of importance in good education. Even after half a semester in this course I have been introduced to a whole new side of agriculture and sustainability that I never knew existed. Knowledge is power, but without passion power goes to waste. That is why people many people still refuse to act in environmentally friendly ways even after being “enlightened,” especially when it interferes with their immediate needs. Perhaps this is were religion comes into play. Religion is able to instill a passion which is much stronger than the desire for comfort or even survival. Perhaps this is how religion could be “the biggest factor,” as it can predetermine the lives of a great many people.

  2. I believe that “good education” is a very broad term that needs to be delineated in an applicable way. In terms of making progress in the west, education systems that focus on a more spiritual connection seem like an effective method. Still, the actual implementation of a progressive environmental education will not be as simple as it sounds. With the current state of the world and the major biases that all cultures have developed, education will take generations to have a noticeable effect. Religious renewal most definitely provides a more justifiable means of “connection” with place because it does not require people to think as much. For a majority to change attitude, religious methods seem to work more quickly, but they are not necessarily as thorough. As Lynn White combatted Christianity, a religion-based problem may only be solved through a religious solution. However, immediate action towards the issue of human disconnection seems to be stymied by the dominant western political and economic systems.

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